MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - The No. 12 Wesleyan men's hockey team (15-6-2, 13-2-2) were edged 6-5 by No. 11 Trinity in Friday night's showdown between the first-ranked Cardinals and the second-ranked Bantams (15-3-2, 11-2-4). With the loss, the number one seed for the upcoming NESCAC tournament will be decided when the two teams square off again tomorrow, this time at Trinity.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Trinity looked to get on the board with 6:06 expired, but Charlie Zuccarini's shot was denied with a blocker save by Wesleyan goaltender Tim Sestak.
- The Bantams opened the scoring just 56 seconds later when Andy Chugg faked to his right, before tucking the puck inside the left pipe for the 1-0 edge.
- Wesleyan answered at the 14:21 mark to knot the game 1-1. Walker Harris sent a pass from the right into the slot, forcing Trinity's netminder Jonah Capriotti off his line. Capriotti tipped the puck with his stick to get it out of danger, but Stephen O'Connor collected the rebound and found the back of the net.
- The Cardinals looked to take advantage of a power play beginning at the 16:04 mark, but a strong Bantam defense forced Wesleyan to take just one shot, as Trinity was able to kill off the penalty.
- The Bantams had a chance for the equalizer with nine seconds remaining in the first frame, but James Callahan's shot from the slot was denied by Sestak, as the teams skated into the intermission tied 1-1.
- Out of the intermission, Trinity had several opportunities to tally a goal beginning at the 4:36 mark, but a strong Cardinal defense was able to kill off the five-minute penalty.
- During the five-minute span, Wesleyan's Chad Malinowski tallied a shorthanded goal at the 6:22 mark after he intercepted a pass in the defensive zone, before finding the back of the goal on a breakaway to make it 2-1.
- The Cardinals extended their lead with 14:26 expired during a five-on-three situation. Malinowski struck again, tipping-in a pass from Tyler Wyatt to make it 3-1.
- The Bantams cut the deficit to one (3-2) with 46 seconds remaining in the second when Taggart Corriveau lifted the puck over Sestak, blocker side.
- Out of the break, Trinity tallied the equalizer just 1:13 into the third period when Nicholas Polsinelli one-timed a rebound off an initial shot by Ryan Pfeffer, making it 3-3.
- The Bantams took a 4-3 edge at the 4:07 mark when Pfeffer tucked the puck inside the left post from the doorstep.
- Wesleyan responded with 6:34 expired, knotting the game 4-4 when Spencer Fox blasted a shot from the right faceoff circle.
- The Cardinals took a 5-4 lead at the 14:27 mark when Harris connected with a pass from Vincent Lima in the slot, before finding the back of the net.
- Trinity found the equalizer just 56 seconds later when Corriveau one-timed a pass from Lucas Michaud to make it 5-5.
- The Bantams scored the game-winner with 1:43 remaining in regulation. Barclay Gammill faked to his right, before tucking the puck inside the left post to make it 6-5.
- Wesleyan pulled its goaltender with 1:15 remaining, but were unable to capitalize on their final attempts, as Trinity was able to hang on for the win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Sestak suffered the loss in goal for the Cardinals, making 32 saves.
- Capriotti recorded 19 stops during the contest to earn the win.
- The Cardinals travel to Trinity tomorrow for their regular season finale.